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Number cruncher

65%

of Brits surveyed are planning to holiday abroad in 2019


77%

said resort costs for meals and drinks were more important than the value of sterling in their destination choice


55%

said sterling’s strength or weakness was the main factor in choosing where to go

However, Post Office Travel Money, which claims to account for a quarter of UK currency transactions, said its sales for 2019 up to the Easter Bank Holiday show some of the biggest purchase increases have been to long-haul destinations where sterling is “significantly weaker” than a year ago.


This is explained, says the Post Office, by UK holidaymakers becoming less concerned about exchange rates than about costs in-destination. Some 77% of the 2,087 people surveyed said resort costs for meals, drinks and other tourist items were a more important factor in destination choice, compared with only 55% who felt sterling’s strength or weakness was the deciding factor.


The Post Office said the low cost of living in Bali and Japan helped explain a surge in sales of the Indonesian rupiah (up 9%) and Japanese yen (up 12%) in 2019 to date.


A 44% year-on-year growth for the Trinidad & Tobago dollar comes after Tobago rated alongside St Lucia as the cheapest Caribbean island in the Post Office’s Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer. Yet, in common with the Barbados dollar (7.1% stronger against sterling year-on-year), the Trinidad & Tobago dollar is worth more against the pound (up 3%) than last April. Despite the weaker pound, sales of Caribbean currencies are generally on the rise with significant year-on-year increases of 9% for the Jamaican and Barbados dollars.


The Holiday Money Index found the best long-haul offering for budget-conscious tourists was South Africa, with the rand the Post Office’s eighth bestselling currency. Sterling was worth 9.6% more than in April last year, giving visitors an extra £44 on a £500 rand purchase.

Latest trends for the British Pound

Sterling against Turkish lira

Sterling’s biggest year-on-year gain of 34.3% was against the Turkish lira, giving £128 extra on a purchase of £500.

Egyptian pound sales

Largest growth in currency sales has been for the Egyptian pound, with a 687% year-on-year rise.

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